A Corvette that runs on vegetable oil

In what may be a first, an enthusiast has turned a Corvette into a vegetable-oil burning 'green' racer. 

Handout/Chevrolet/Reuters
The Chevrolet Corvette logo is pictured in this undated handout photo. An enthusiast, who has turned a conventional Corvette into a race car that burns waste vegetable oil, is ready to sell his one-of-a-kind creation. The price: $3,500. [Editor's note: This caption was corrected to make clear that an individual, not Chevy, modified the Corvette.]

Of all the Chevrolet models, the Corvette sports car may be the one least likely to be considered green.

Indeed, the world rocked on its axis when the lead engineer said two years ago that, one day, there might be a Corvette Hybrid.

But considerably sooner than that, you can have your very own green Corvette, with a diesel engine fueled on vegetable oil.

Which makes it both very green and incredibly weird.

The picture gets clearer when we learn that the vehicle in question--known as the Cor-Vegge--was built for the notorious 24 Hours of LeMons endurance racing series for cars that cost $500 or less.

The owner and builder, "Spank," notes that while it actually isn't the world's only diesel-engined Corvette (really?), it's probably the only one fueled on waste vegetable oil.

The 1980s-vintage Oldsmobile 350-cubic-inch diesel V-8 produces 77 horsepower--per a dynamometer test--and the car's 20-gallon tank should provide up to 5 hours of running time at unspecified speeds.

Rather than fit two tanks--a small one for conventional diesel to start on, along with a larger tank for the biodiesel--the car has just a single tank.

Spank says he drains the vegetable oil from the tank, tosses in some diesel to get the car warmed up, then adds back the vegetable oil.

The Cor-Vegge has a pair of heat exchangers, one at the head of the fuel filter and a second one on the firewall, to ensure that the veggie oil flows smoothly.

The car itself, a C4 Corvette (1984-1996) of unspecified vintage, has raced twice so far.

It's fitted with a professional roll cage, new front disc brakes, and comes with a variety of diesel, gasoline, and other spare engines and parts.

The roll cage and the car's basic tub are, Spank admits, the most valuable parts of the vehicle.

And, yes, it's for sale. The asking price is $3,500, and the car is located in Escondido, California (north of San Diego).

The full, suitably picturesque description is contained in a post on the LeMons forum.

(We still like the idea of a 750-horsepower Corvette Hybrid, by the way. But that's another story.)

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